The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is putting pressure on IHOP and its parent company, Dine Brands, to expedite their transition to sourcing only eggs from cage-free hens.
In February 2016, DineEquity, which changed its name to Dine Brands in 2018, pledged to source its entire egg supply from farms that use only cage-free laying systems. The pledge, which applied to all of the company’s locations, was to be effective by no later than 2025.
While that deadline is still more than 3.5 years away, HSUS says Dine Brands and IHOP have not been transitioning quickly enough.
According to an email from HSUS staff member Sarah Schweig, IHOP “has made only minimal progress, with its website stating that only 5.2% of all the eggs it uses come from cage-free chickens. That’s despite the widespread availability of cage-free eggs and many companies already using, or being well on their way to using 100% cage-free eggs.”
Schweig’s assertion that there is widespread availability of cage-free eggs contradicts what the leader of United Egg Producers (UEP) said during the 2020 Poultry Science Association Virtual Annual Meeting last July. UEP President Chad Gregory, at the time, explained that just to meet the needs of cage-free commitments of U.S. grocery stores, the industry will need to have 225 million layers in cage-free systems by 2025, and of that, 171.6 million layers are needed just to meet the needs of grocery stores.
“That will cost egg farmers and egg companies between 10 and 11 billion dollars. Now they have less than five years to do that. … The cost to do it, and the amount of time they have to do it in is financially and logistically impossible to achieve.
Pressure for crate-free pork
In the same email, Schweig also condemned IHOP, saying the company stated on its website than 23% of its pork comes from farms that do not use gestation crates, despite the company vowing to source all of its pork from crate-free farms by 2020.
Schweig referenced a blog from HSUS President and CEO Kitty Block, in which the animal rights organization’s leader urges readers to send an online message to IHOP CEO John Peyton to fullfil the company’s pledges.